Friday, June 12, 2009

Visiting AT&T Labs

I went down to AT&T Labs to give a talk and visit yesterday. The visit was primarily inspired by wanting to talk to Mikkel Thorup, who has done a lot of fantastic work related to hashing. (For example, his paper on "Tabulation based 4-universal hashing with applications to second moment estimation" with Yin Zhang, and his work on Priority Sampling.) I also had the chance to talk to several others, including Walter Willinger, Edith Cohen, and David Johnson. I haven't visited AT&T for a while; the lab has been through some tough times over the years, but remains the home of a number of truly outstanding researchers, and in particular of researchers who successfully bridge the divide between "theory" and "practice". Mihai Patrascu joins their ranks shortly.

I had a wonderful time, marred only by the fact that my flight home was delayed over two hours -- part weather, part mechanical trouble? I think every flight out of Newark I've ever had -- a small but not trivial number -- has been delayed at least an hour.

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